Back in the boat, Jesus and the disciples recrossed the sea to Jesus’ hometown. 2 They were hardly out of the boat when some men carried a paraplegic on a stretcher and set him down in front of them. Jesus, impressed by their bold belief, said to the paraplegic, “Cheer up, son. I forgive your sins.” 3 Some religion scholars whispered, “Why, that’s blasphemy!” 4 Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said, “Why this gossipy whispering? 5 Which do you think is simpler: to say, ‘I forgive your sins,’ or, ‘Get up and walk’? 6 Well, just so it’s clear that I’m the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both. . . .” At this he turned to the paraplegic and said, “Get up. Take your bed and go home.” 7 And the man did it. 8 The crowd was awestruck, amazed and pleased that God had authorized Jesus to work among them this way.
Some religion scholars whispered, “Why, that’s blasphemy!” Looking up the word blasphemy it states that this is equal to speaking evil of God, or abusing the power of God, claiming it as your own.
Which do you think is simpler: to say, ‘I forgive your sins,’ or, ‘Get up and walk’? Jesus is cognizant of their thoughts and responds with a question. He’s leading to a revelation of who he is and what he does…
Well, just so it’s clear that I’m the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both. . . .” At this he turned to the paraplegic and said, “Get up. Take your bed and go home.” 7 And the man did it. A picture of His Messiahship and His modeling of faith in action.
When Jesus said I forgive…He was accused of claiming God’s power as His own. God gave him that authority and he in turn gave it to us. The one holding the power is able to give it to others. It cannot just be appropriated, when there is an attempt to appropriate someone else’s power, that is stealing what is not your own.
Jesus was revealing his position as Messiah, He was modeling what he taught. The exercise of faith has power. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith sees it done, Faith is real, the hope become real.
What do we do with this knowledge? How does this part of the Word become active and alive in us? John 17 lets us know Jesus gives us the same assignment that was given Him. That begs the question,then, is the Word active and alive in me? Is our faith evident? Our approach to life and the stuff it hands us should show that we live as if our hope is real. How do we handle pain, illness, disappointment, difficulties?
Join me with the breath prayer for today: my trust is in the Lord, my faith is in the Lord.